Monday, April 30, 2012

The Infinite Benefits
Taking an Art Workshop

My top three reasons for taking an art workshop

#1 - The Instructor
Each instructor brings their unique vision and expertise to the experience. They can help you look at things in a whole new way, help you to see things that would have previously gone unnoticed and learn new techniques that you can bring into your own studio and adapt to your own work.

#2 – Your Fellow Attendees
Working in close proximity of other artists can really be a beneficial component to the way you learn. Seeing what everyone else is doing and allowing them to see what you are creating can be wonderfully inspiring. The resulting interaction can really be valuable to your art-making process.

#3 – The Workshop Topic
I am a firm believer that learning something new, no matter how inconsequential it may be, is always a good thing! When considering an art workshop, you never know what you will end up taking back to your studio. A new technique may not seem a logical fit with your work but it is likely that this new knowledge will rattle around in the back of your mind, perhaps materializing in some form or another sometime in the future.

This weekend I was fortunate to attend the workshop Encaustic & Wax Resist given by Maine artist Kim Bernard. I have long been of fan of her 2D encaustic work as well as her remarkable sculpture and installation work and was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her. An Illinois Arts Council grant allowed me to attend at no cost to me.

My fellow workshop attendees were also fellow members of FUSEDChicago, a group of artists in the Midwest that work in the medium of encaustic. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know these artists through, not only just through socializing during the two days, but also by seeing them at work and seeing how they work and how they think. Additionally, for me, it was nice to work with other artists as I work in a studio by myself. I found that this creative interaction inspired me to create work that was out of my comfort zone.

I plan on taking two more workshops this summer; Jeff Hirst’s Silkscreen & Encaustic Workshop and Linda Womack’s online workshop Surface Work with Pastels, Inks and Mixed Media. It will be interesting to see how the knowledge I gain through these workshops will make its way into my art!

Kim Bernard
Jeff Hirst
Linda Womack

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am so happy to announce that my work will be heading to New York! The Mane was chosen for inclusion in the show WAX at the Brooklyn Artists Gym. The show runs from May 19-June 4. The opening reception is Saturday May 19 from 6:00-9:00.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Building a Strong Online Presence

On March 23rd and 24th, the Chicago Cultural Center hosted the 9th annual Creative Chicago Expo.  This event featured workshops, vendor information and resources for creatives in all disciplines.  I attended the workshops “Build a Strong Online Presence” given by Jennifer Rapp Peterson of Indiemade and “Maximizing the Potential of Your Website in Cyberspace” given by Brad Lichtenstein of Creative Capital.

Ms. Peterson’s advice begins with the need to define your goals. Why do you want to be online and what do you want to communicate?  She urged everyone to not only discover yourself, the who, what, where, how and why of your personality and the personality of your art, but to also identify your audience and speak to them directly by searching for what they want. 

Both workshops stressed the importance of participation in social media.  It is important to listen to the social conversation as well as sharing and engaging on social platforms.  Mr. Lichtenstein proposed creating a special page on Facebook to follow the stages of a unique project.

Both workshops also emphasized the importance of having a professional website as it is your online home.  Ms. Peterson identified well-designed navigation and page layouts, a site map and a blog as website must-haves.  Mr. Lichtenstein suggested posting process pictures of you making your art as this inside knowledge creates a stronger connection between the art buyer and the art.  Additionally he recommended including images of your art in client’s homes.

He also advised that we think about things and events narratively resulting in a story telling way of disseminating information about ourselves and our art.  He contends that people not only enjoy stories but remember them better, adding that this is the ideal way to design your “elevator speech”.

Indiemade and Creative Capital both have pages on Facebook.

Jennifer Rapp Peterson has included her notes from this workshop on the Indiemade site.

This post appeared on April 12, 2012.

Photograph: Doug Boehm

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Form & Function

Featuring the art of Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Emily Rutledge, Tulika Ladsariya and Jeff Payne.
May 11-June 10, 2012
Opening Friday May 11  6-8pm

Best Chicago Properties
847 West Monroe, 1A  Chicago